Synthesis of oxidation-resistant cupronickel nanowires for transparent conducting nanowire networks.
Nanowires of copper can be coated from liquids to create flexible, transparent conducting films that can potentially replace the dominant transparent conductor, indium tin oxide, in displays, solar cells, organic light-emitting diodes, and electrochromic windows. One issue with these nanowire films is that copper is prone to oxidation. It was hypothesized that the resistance to oxidation could be improved by coating copper nanowires with nickel. This work demonstrates a method for synthesizing copper nanowires with nickel shells as well as the properties of cupronickel nanowires in transparent conducting films. Time- and temperature-dependent sheet resistance measurements indicate that the sheet resistance of copper and silver nanowire films will double after 3 and 36 months at room temperature, respectively. In contrast, the sheet resistance of cupronickel nanowires containing 20 mol % nickel will double in about 400 years. Coating copper nanowires to a ratio of 2:1 Cu:Ni gave them a neutral gray color, making them more suitable for use in displays and electrochromic windows. These properties, and the fact that copper and nickel are 1000 times more abundant than indium or silver, make cupronickel nanowires a promising alternative for the sustainable, efficient production of transparent conductors.
Rathmell, AR; Nguyen, M; Chi, M; Wiley, BJ
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